Full 2014 Toyota Sequoia Review
What's New for 2014
Other than the addition of the Entune infotainment system to the standard equipment list, the 2014 Toyota Sequoia is unchanged.
In today's world, it's hard to deny the appeal of crossover SUVs. Compared to traditional full-size SUVs like the 2014 Toyota Sequoia, they offer superior fuel economy and a more pleasant on-road demeanor. Yet there's still a small population of buyers who truly need the combination of towing muscle and seating capacity that only an old-school SUV can provide. If you're one of them, you'll find few truck-based SUVs that can match the Toyota Sequoia's impressive package of power and refinement.
Built on a modified version of Toyota's Tundra pickup platform, the eight-passenger Sequoia has the performance side covered with its 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8. This is an uncommonly smooth engine that delivers robust acceleration in weekday driving and still has the brawn to tow trailers up to 7,400 pounds on the weekend. The Sequoia offers decent handling and good ride comfort, too. Inside, you'll find a spacious and comfortable cabin with flexible seating and room for as many as eight passengers. Base models come pretty well equipped, while higher trim levels offer standard features on par with upscale luxury sedans.
Of course, if you don't really need the 2014 Sequoia's towing capabilities, you'll find that lighter-duty, three-row crossover SUVs are easier to live with day to day and more fuel-efficient. Top alternatives include the roomy 2014 Chevrolet Traverse or the more tow-capable (but smaller) Dodge Durango. As for traditional, full-size SUVs, the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and Ford Expedition have their own appeal, though neither offers quite as likable a package as the Sequoia. Even though it's clearly not right for everybody, the 2014 Toyota Sequoia still remains our top recommendation to shoppers who have a legitimate need for a vehicle that can seat a small crowd, tow a big trailer, or even do both at once.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV with standard eight-passenger seating. Available second-row captain's chairs reduce seating capacity to seven. The Sequoia is offered in three trim levels: SR5, Limited and Platinum.
The entry-level SR5 model comes with a long list of standard features, including 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, keyless entry, a roof rack, running boards, rear privacy glass, a power-down rear window and towing preparation. That list continues inside with tri-zone automatic climate control, power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), a 40/20/40-split second-row bench seat (with sliding and reclining functionality), a 60/40-split reclining and fold-flat third-row bench, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an eight-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, an auxiliary audio input and a USB/iPod interface. New this year is Toyota's Entune system, which connects to the driver's smartphone and makes it possible to access various entertainment and information apps via a standard 6.1-inch touchscreen.
Options for the SR5 include a Sport package with 20-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, a color-keyed grille and second-row captain's chairs. The available Premium package bundles leather upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a power-reclining and -folding third-row seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera (display built into the rearview mirror).
Stepping up to the Limited model gets you 20-inch alloy wheels, power-folding and auto-dimming outside mirrors, a sunroof, front and rear parking sensors and a power liftgate. Inside, everything from the SR5's Premium package is included as standard, along with side-window sunshades for the second and third rows, upgraded gauges and a navigation system. A 14-speaker JBL sound system is optional, as is a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-Ray player.
The top-of-the-line Platinum trim level comes standard with all the above features, plus 20-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, an adaptive air suspension (with a load-leveling rear), blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a 12-way power driver seat, driver memory functions, heated second-row captain's chairs and a power-adjustable steering wheel.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2014 Toyota Sequoia comes standard with a 5.7-liter V8 engine rated at 381 hp and 401 pound-feet of torque. The V8 is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive is standard. A four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing is available as an option.
In Edmunds performance testing, a Sequoia hustled from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6.7 seconds. As is typical for a full-size, truck-based SUV, EPA-estimated fuel economy is low at 15 mpg combined (13 mpg city/18 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive, and 14 combined (13/17) with 4WD.
Two-wheel-drive Sequoias can tow a maximum of 7,400 pounds. You can expect a slightly lower tow rating if you choose a Sequoia with 4WD or a high level of equipment.
Standard safety equipment for all 2014 Toyota Sequoia models includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, trailer sway control, front knee airbags, front-seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. Front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are standard on Limited and Platinum trim levels; a camera is optional on the SR5. A blind-spot monitoring system is standard on the Platinum.
Although the Sequoia's brake pedal has an overly soft and long action to it, its actual stopping performance is quite good for a large SUV. In Edmunds brake testing, the Sequoia needed just 127 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, a short distance for this class.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside the 2014 Toyota Sequoia you'll find a spacious and comfortable cabin with room for as many as eight passengers. Models fitted with the available second-row captain's chairs have a bit more of a deluxe feel, but it's hard to find fault with the standard 40/20/40 split bench. Its individual sections can be reclined, adjusted farther back for greater comfort or scooted forward to keep youngsters close at hand.
The quality of both the materials and construction is above average, creating a pleasant environment that belies the Sequoia's rugged truck-based origins. Gauges and controls are generally well placed and easy to use, with the exception of the audio controls that require a bit of a reach for some drivers. Also, getting started with Entune can be a hassle since you have to install an app on your phone and register for an account; plus, you always need an active data connection to use it. The touchscreen interface has straightforward menus, but it's sometimes unresponsive to touch inputs.
When it comes time to schlepp cargo, the Sequoia shines with a healthy 66.6 cubic feet of space behind the second-row seats. Fold both the second and third rows down and you open up a cavernous 120-cubic-foot cargo hold. The third-row seats fold down into the floor, a much more practical design than that found in GM's full-size SUVs, which still require you to remove and store the heavy seat sections.
The highlight of driving any 2014 Toyota Sequoia is the 5.7-liter V8. This engine is gutsy and provides impressive acceleration, even in this large, heavy vehicle. The six-speed automatic transmission also performs flawlessly, with smooth, predictable shifts in everyday driving.
Although the 2014 Toyota Sequoia feels less unwieldy than many of its heavyweight competitors, there's no getting around its supersize dimensions and challenging outward visibility. Maneuvering in tight confines like parking garages can be a hassle, and the available front and rear parking sensors and rearview camera are well worth the expense. The Sequoia's ride quality is quite good, however, especially on Platinum models with the adaptive air suspension.